Tess Dehoog asks whether it’s true that the German Nazi party came to Edmonton to learn about Alberta’s eugenics program.
To answer this question, we first interviewed Erika Dyck, a researcher based at the University of Saskatchewan.
She is also the author of Facing Eugenics: Reproduction, Sterilization, and the Politics of Choice.
We also spoke to Leslie Baker, currently a researcher based at Saint Mary’s University. Leslie was a contributor to the Eugenics Archive, an exhaustive database of the eugenics movement and its survivors in Alberta and beyond.
Her doctoral thesis topic at the University of Saskatchewan was Institutionalizing Eugenics: Custody, Class, Gender and Education in Nova Scotia’s Response to the ‘Feeble-Minded’, 1890-1931.
Leslie Baker suggested further exploring two sources:
- The archives of the Canadian Medical Association Journal
- The Bulletin of the Canadian National Committee for Mental Hygiene
Formal sterilization and eugenics programs in Canada like Alberta’s no longer exist, but forced sterilization is still a problem. In 2017, a report by Dr. Yvonne Boyer and Dr. Judith Bartlett found that health care providers in the Saskatoon Health Region have pressured many Indigenous women to undergo tubal ligation while in labour.
Leilani O’Malley (who changed her name from Leilani Muir before she passed away in 2016) was the Alberta eugenics survivor who kicked open the door for many others by successfully suing the provincial government in the 90’s.
- The Eugenics Archives
- Facing Eugenics by Erika Dyck
- Our Own Master Race: Eugenics in Canada, 1885-1945 by Angus McLean
- The Truth about Archives: Part III – Eugenics in Western Canada and how records (or lack there of) affects Social Justice (Musée Héritage Museum blog)
- “The Investigation of Crime”, Macleod Times, October 15, 1925
Music for this episode includes Jacobs’ Piano Folio of Concert Miscellany, Vol. 5 by Walter Jacobs, Inc, shared under Open Data Commons Attribution License (ODC-By) v1.0.